Dear Parents and Carers
Please read the following information sent to us from the Oxfordshire County Council Supported Transport Team.
Mrs Yvonne Stallwood-Barnes
Oxfordshire County Council (OCC) has made efforts to ensure that children who are transported on behalf of the Council are done so in the safest way possible. These efforts have included the introduction of passenger passports for SEN children and more robust vetting procedures for drivers and passenger assistants who work on behalf of OCC.
The purpose of this training is to equip drivers and assistants with the knowledge they require to respond effectively to the needs of their passengers, including vulnerable children with special care and support needs. The training is also aimed at promoting good communication with passengers both on a day-to-day basis and in specific situations.
We are working with our transport providers to ensure that, as far as possible, all drivers and passenger assistants receive the required training by the end of term (Thursday 24 March 2016). However, there may be some temporary changes to school transport services after the Easter break as a result of some drivers or passenger assistants not having completed the training and, therefore, being unable to undertake these journeys.
We are confident that a sufficient number of coach drivers will have completed the training to carry out school transport routes although it is possible there may be some changes to arrival and departure times at and from schools. In all instances, we will work with our providers to ensure that children continue to receive transport to and from school, and that any changes are kept to a minimum.
Similarly, families who receive a taxi service for their child may be provided with a different driver or assistant from the person they are used to if their usual driver and/or passenger assistant has not yet completed the training. The county council has a number of appropriately trained and vetted staff to undertake these roles.
Please be reassured that we will continue to ensure transport is provided for children both to and from school, and that we are working hard to ensure that any changes are kept to a minimum and we will make sure you are informed of any changes to transport.
We believe that this training is an important part of ensuring that we provide the best and safest transport service to our passengers.